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Love and Marriage? Give me Prasada and Kirtan any Day!

3,617 views Love and Marriage? Give me Prasada and Kirtan any Day! thumbnail

Ever since my experience a few years ago with Mahasrngha prabhu I had wanted to again go on a prasadam distribution excursion from Sri Dham Mayapur. I had known for quite some time that Shastra prabhu was more or less going out daily with his team on Harinam to the surrounding villages so I also wanted to experience a taste of that too. When I heard that Shastra and his team often combined their harinamas with some prasadam distribution, then hey I knew I was entering dreamland!












By Praghosa Dasa

Ever since my experience a few years ago with Mahasrngha prabhu I had wanted to again go on a prasadam distribution excursion from Sri Dham Mayapur. I had known for quite some time that Shastra prabhu was more or less going out daily with his team on Harinam to the surrounding villages so I also wanted to experience a taste of that too. When I heard that Shastra and his team often combined their harinamas with some prasadam distribution, then hey I knew I was entering dreamland!

The next day I bumped into Shastra and I asked him when was his next joint kirtan and prasada outing and he told me it was that afternoon at 3.30 so I made a few calls to clear my diary and got ready for an afternoon of spiritual fun!

I had agreed to meet Shastra and his team at Prabhupada Ghat at 3.45 as the plan was to head to travel on the Ganga to the village where Jagannatha Misra and Sacidevi got married, Gauranga Situr. As I boarded the boat the first thing I noticed were the 5 huge pots of kitchari already loaded and my first thought was how did they manage to get such huge heavy pots of kitchari onto the boat? It must have been at least six foot from the shore to the top of the boat, anyway I was just happy that Shastra had asked me to come at 15.45 and not 15.30, if I had been there at 3.30 I might have been asked to help with the lifting 

So off we headed as the heat of the day was just beginning to subside, helped by the cool breeze of the Ganga. Naturally a nice melodious kirtan began and the twenty or so strong devotee crew were well on their way. As we zig zagged our way up the Ganga, I think due to our boatman wanting to ensure he was always in deep enough water, we passed by numerous villages along the way and all bar none of the people greeted us with waves and smiles and those waves and smiles continued even as we sailed by without parting with a single spoon of our kitchari!

In what appeared to be no time at all although in truth it was around half an hour we arrived at our destination. As our boat edged its way to the shore there were no shortage of assistants to help disembark our cargo. Funnily enough all of the helpers were either middle aged couples or young girls, whereas what was really needed was some young teenage boys. As I climbed out of the boat and wandered up the riverbank I saw why there were no young boys down at the shore – they were all playing football! Well if it wasn’t already apparent enough then this was proof positive of the influence of kali, young Indian boys playing football instead of cricket  Anyways it gave me a great opportunity to bond with the locals by showing off my considerable football skills as we waited for prasadam to be served!

While the boys may not have been sufficiently motivated to take a break from their football to help unload the prasadam, as soon as it was being served football seemed to be the furthest thing from their minds as they eagerly sat down awaiting their turn to receive their plate of kitchari. ISKCON clearly has a name for producing the best kitchari in town as many of the village folk were using their sharp intelligence to figure out how to get more than the allotted amount. Sneaking 50 odd places further down the queue and taking another plate was one tactic I saw adopted a few times. Having a couple or more tiffins and producing the clean one every time the servers came around was another and when I was lucky enough to taste the kitchari later on I could fully understand why everyone was so eager to get more than their share.

As the prasadam ran out and many finished their meal they began to join in the kirtan that had been going on continuously the whole time. Soon there were numerous groups of devotees and villagers chanting and dancing together in great joy, it was a great sight to behold. Before we knew it the boat was fully loaded and we were being beckoned to jump on board or miss our ride back to Mayapur. We were seen off from the shore by dozens of enthusiastic and thankful villagers and as we travelled back up the Ganga Gita Nagari prabhu led us in a very sweet, melodious and mellow kirtan, which was so fitting as our tired limbs, took rest and the sun began to set.

Participating in Srila Prabhupada’s instruction to ensure that not a single person should go hungry within 10 miles of the holy dhama, is a really true fun service to get involved in and one I would recommend to all who visit Sri Mayapur Dhama.



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